Ingrown toenails are not as common as toenails, but they do occur. An ingrown toenail can cause severe pain and even soreness. An ingrown toenail is characterized by curling and ingrowing of the edge of the nail into the soft skin on the sides of the toe. Learn how to treat an ingrown toenail to reduce pain and heal it completely.
Attention: the information in this article is for informational purposes only. Before using any methods, consult your doctor
Method 1 of 4: Treatment with folk remedies
Step 1. Raise your nail
If the ingrown toenail is small, you can pick it up yourself. Soak your nail to soften it, then place something underneath it to separate it from the skin and keep it from growing into it. Try placing a clean piece of gauze, cotton wool, or dental floss under the edge of the ingrown toenail.
- If you decide to use cotton wool, take a small piece and roll it between your fingers to make a cotton swab about 1 cm long. Don't make it too thick, just so that it separates the nail from the skin.
- Glue the edges of a cotton swab on both sides of your finger. With your other hand, lift the ingrown toenail up. Roll the free end of the roller under the corner of the nail and pull it out from the other side so that it is between the skin and the nail and does not allow them to touch.
- This procedure is quite painful and extremely inconvenient to perform on your own. The edges are glued so that the cotton swab can be moved under the side edge of the nail. You may need someone's help to insert the roller under your nail.
Step 2. Apply antibiotic ointment
Apply a small amount of topical antibiotic ointment to your finger to prevent infection. Spread the ointment all over your finger with a cotton swab and then wrap it up.
Change the bandage every day and remember to apply the ointment
Step 3. Take over-the-counter pain relievers
An inflamed ingrown toenail can hurt a lot. Take over-the-counter pain relievers to relieve pain. Follow the dosage instructions carefully.
Try to reduce pain by taking paracetamol (Panadol), ibuprofen (Nurofen), or naproxen (Nalgezin)
Method 2 of 4: Soaking an Ingrown Toenail
Step 1. Soak your nail in warm water
Soak your finger in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Soaking will help relieve finger pain and swelling. The finger can be soaked 3-4 times a day.
- Wipe your finger dry after soaking. Keep your finger dry as long as you do not soak it.
- After soaking, apply ointment or essential oil to your finger. Don't forget to replace the cotton swab and bandages after soaking.
Step 2. Add Epsom Salt
An ingrown toenail can be soaked in Epsom Salt water. Fill a bowl with warm water and add a couple tablespoons of Epsom salts per liter of water. Soak your hand for 15-20 minutes.
- Epsom salts can help relieve pain and inflammation.
- If you want to bandage the ingrown nail with a bandage, be sure to wipe it off first. Only then can the finger be bandaged.
Step 3. Soak your finger in hydrogen peroxide solution
Peroxide is used to prevent infection. Soak the ingrown toenail in a solution of warm water and peroxide. To do this, pour half a cup of peroxide into a bowl of warm water.
- Soak your finger for 15-20 minutes.
- Or, take a cotton ball or piece of gauze, soak it in peroxide and apply it to an ingrown nail.
Step 4. Try tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has antifungal and antimicrobial properties, which is quite beneficial for ingrown toenails. When you soak your finger, add two to three drops of tea tree oil to warm water. Mix two to three drops of tea tree oil with a tablespoon of olive oil, then apply this mixture to your finger to prevent infection.
- Tea tree oil will soften the nail. Apply a tablespoon of olive oil and one drop of tea tree oil to your nail daily. If you prefer, use tea tree oil instead of antibiotic ointment, as there is no point in using both.
- After the tea tree oil is absorbed into the skin, apply Vix Active or Deep Relief ointment to the affected area. The menthol and camora included in them will help relieve pain and soften the nail. Leave the ointment on your finger for 12-24 hours. To do this, bandage your finger with a bandage or cover it with a plaster.
- If you use a cotton swab to separate your nail from your skin, soak it in tea tree oil.
Method 3 of 4: Medical Treatment for an Ingrown Toenail
Step 1. See a doctor
If an ingrown toenail has an infection, or if its condition still does not improve after five days, you should see a doctor. The doctor will apply a topical antibiotic to the ingrown nail, which will need to be smeared over the skin.
- If the infection has gone deeper into the finger, your doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic.
- If an ingrown toenail is caused by a fungal infection (this is the most common cause if you have a chronic ingrown toenail), your doctor will be able to determine and treat it accordingly.
- Tell your doctor if the pain around the ingrown toenail gets worse, the redness increases, you can't bend your toe in any joints, or if you develop a fever. These symptoms indicate a more serious problem.
Step 2. Surgically lift the nail
If an ingrown nail has an infection, but pus has not yet begun to flow out of it, the doctor may try to lift it. This will help separate the nail from the skin so that it can grow above the skin instead of into it.
- When the nail is lifted, the doctor will prop it up (with a piece of cotton wool, dental floss or splint) so that the nail does not come into contact with the skin.
- If the nail is severely inflamed or has grown into the skin and it hurts to lift it, ask the doctor to do it himself.
Step 3. Surgically remove the nail
If your nails are often growing into your skin, your doctor may advise you to remove them surgically. As a rule, for this, the doctor will carry out a partial avulsion (removal) of the nail. This is a procedure in which the doctor will cut off the part of the nail that has grown into the skin.
- After a partial nail avulsion, you will have to monitor the growth of the nails. You will have to do everything you can to prevent the nail from growing back into the skin.
- In severe cases, the entire nail bed can be removed. For this, chemicals and laser therapy are used. But this treatment is not often used for ingrown toenails. It is commonly used to treat ingrown toenails.
Method 4 of 4: Ingrown toenail and its symptoms
Step 1. Learn to recognize the symptoms of an ingrown toenail
An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the lateral edge of the nail curls and grows into the soft skin on the finger. The pressure this creates leads to redness, pain, swelling, and sometimes inflammation.
- If an ingrown toenail gets infected, pus may start leaking from it, and the inflammation will spread further to the finger.
- An ingrown toenail can grow into the soft skin on the inner or outer edge of the nail.
Step 2. Find out about the causes of the disease
Ingrown toenails are less common than toenails. There are several reasons for their occurrence. The causes of the disease include:
- The habit of biting your nails
- Uneven or too short nail trimming
- Fungal infection
- The presence of rounded or thickened nails caused by genetic inheritance. This problem is more serious in older people.
Step 3. Watch for worsening symptoms
Most cases of ingrown toenails can be treated at home or with standard treatments. Some infections can become more severe. If your symptoms worsen, see your doctor or emergency room right away.
Seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur: increased pain around an ingrown toenail, increased redness and tenderness, inability to bend a finger in any joint, and fever
Step 4. Prevent ingrown toenails
Ingrown toenails can be prevented. Do not cut your nails too short as this can lead to ingrown nails. You should also give up your nail biting habit. Sand rough and uneven edges of your nails.
- Keep your hands and nails dry. Keep your nails clean.
- Take care of your nails and watch for symptoms of ingrown toenails for early detection.